- Code NSPO8043
- Unit Value 3 units
- Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject National Security Policy
- Areas of interest Security Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Dr Nicholas Thomson
- Mode of delivery In Person
Winter Session 2021
See Future Offerings
In 2021, class dates are August 9, 16, 23
In the age of Covid-19, we are all dealing with the impacts of pandemic disease and emergency policy responses. This course assesses the political and security significance of infectious diseases, pandemics and public health. From the historical experiences with smallpox, plague and cholera, to the contemporary challenges posed by new diseases like HIV/AIDS and SARS or the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that pathogenic micro-organisms exercise a powerful influence over the security of people, societies and states. The course concentrates on areas in which human health and security concerns intersect most closely, including: pandemics; responses to fast-moving disease outbreaks of natural origin; the ethics of policy responses; and the relationships between infectious disease patterns, public health capacity, state functioning and violent conflict. The aim of the course is to provide students with a stronger understanding of the scientific and political nature of these problems, why and how they might threaten security, and the conceptual and empirical connections between them. Course activities and assessment tasks are designed to encourage critical engagement with this key policy challenge of our age. To this end, the course includes a comparative exercise on how nations respond to pandemics, and the insights of policy practitioners will be integrated with academic teaching.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand concepts related to infectious disease and health, with the ability to critically analyse them in a national security context
- Evaluate contemporary local, regional, and global challenges and policy options relating to infectious disease and health
- Critically analyse the responsiveness of security agencies and national policy to the security challenges posed by infectious diseases
- Communicate ideas and analysis that demonstrate both scholarly and policy-focused engagement with the subject matter
- Evaluation of a policy response to pandemic (30) [LO 1,2,4]
- Major research essay and Public Information Campaign (PIC) presentation to class (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Online engagement (10) [LO 2,3,4]
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Contact hours: 2 days (seminars) plus one extra day (seminars, consultations and public information campaigns)
Requisite and Incompatibility
A list of readings will be provided in lieu of a prescribed text
Ezekiel J. Emanuel et al, “Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19”, New England Journal Of Medicine, March 25, 2020.
WHO, Surveillance strategies for COVID-19 human infection, World Health Organisation, 10th May 2020, https://www.who.int/publications-detail/surveillance-strategies-for-covid-19-human-infection
Berlinger et al, “Framework for Health Care Institutions Responding to Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19: Guidelines for Institutional Ethics Services Responding to COVID-19”, Hastings Center Report, March 16, 2020.
Meredith Celene Schwartz (ed) The Ethics of Pandemics, (Broadview Press, 2020)
Simon Rushton and Jeremy Youde (eds) Routledge Handbook of Global Health Security (Oxon: Routledge, 2015).
Kamradt-Scott, Adam, and Colin McInnes. The securitisation of pandemic influenza: Framing, security and public policy. Global Public Health 7, S2 (2012): S95-S110.
Schuchat, Anne, Beth Bell and Stephen Redd. The Science behind Preparing and Responding to Pandemic Influenza: The Lessons and Limits of Science. Clinical Infectious Diseases 52, S1 (2011): S8-S12.
Stern, Alexandra, and Howard Markel. International Efforts to Control Infectious Diseases, 1851 to the Present. Journal of the American Medical Association 292, 12 (2004): 1474-1479.
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